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A great garden begins with the right plants and advice

For many of us, gardening season begins in earnest sometime in May. For Alex Scott and his crew, it started at the beginning of February.

That’s when the team at Scott’s Garden Centre begins planting begonias, geraniums, and other slow-growing seedlings in their Brechin and Orillia greenhouses.

“We want to give them time, so we have a crop of big, healthy plants,” says Alex. He is the second-generation owner of Scott’s Garden Centre, which was started by his father and grandparents.

Over the next few months, hundreds of other annuals, perennials, herbs, and vegetables will go into pots and be tended in preparation for the coming growing season.

“Nearly all the flowers and vegetables we sell – and quite a few of the trees and shrubs – are grown right here,” says Alex. “It’s one of the things that sets us apart.”

By growing locally, Scott’s can ensure that they’re only selling seedlings that are well-suited to local growing conditions, plants they know will thrive in our sometimes harsh conditions.

Growing their own also allows Scott’s to carry an enormous selection of plants. “We really take pride in having things that are hard to find elsewhere,” Alex says. That can include uncommon herbs, hard-to find treasures like Harlequin Maple or Thai Constellation Monstera, familiar flowers in new colours or bloom patterns, or even extravagant tropicals like citrus and figs.

For many gardeners in our area, container gardening is a vital part of summer. “We’re justifiably well-known for our container designs,” says Alex. “We have some incredibly talented designers, and they craft amazing plant combinations you just don’t see anywhere else.”

The team will also create custom containers. So, if you are passionate about particular plants, or if you have specific colour needs or bloom seasons, just ask. “We design for some extremely discriminating clients, including many who just tell us what they like and then trust us to create wonderful containers for them,” says Alex. “It’s tremendously gratifying to have earned that level of trust.”

Of course, successful gardening involves more than just choosing the right plants: it also involves knowing how to care for them. That’s an area where Scott’s excels.

“When we hire, we look for people with industry experience – we want to ensure our staff really know what they’re talking about,” says Alex. “And we offer ongoing training, including support for continuing education in the off-season.”

“It’s all about giving our customers the support and advice they need, to ensure that when they leave here they are well on their way to having a successful garden.”

TEXT A. WAGNER-CHAZALON
PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN

www.ScottsGardenCentre.com

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